Cloud Hosting vs A Dedicated Server

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Cloud hosting versus using a dedicated server means whether you choose hosting remotely versus locally. Both options have their pros and cons. If instant access, setup and expandability are main deciding factors, cloud hosting may be the first choice. But, if considering an alternative that is cheaper, fully controllable and easily managed, then a dedicated server may be more of a necessity. All of this is dependent on the use case, something more easily decidable once broken down.

Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting refers to data storage and computing that is outsourced to a remote server that utilizes a virtualized environment to run the necessary software for each server in use. A single server can produce multiple virtual servers to host various sites, applications, etc. Server farms can produce a multitude of virtual servers for every physical server, this makes it possible to use minimal hardware for the many more virtual machines running.

Cloud hosting requires the user to purchase and maintain zero hardware, making scaling and upgrades easy and unlimited. Storage space does not have to be acquired, as the amount of disk space is changes based on the tier you’ve purchased. With cloud hosting you are only charged for what is used, whether its data storage costs or transfer fees.

In case of emergencies, cloud hosting gives more assurance that a site will not go down. The likeliness is less than on a dedicated server because the given number of servers that act as a redundancy, picking up where something has failed.

Setup is not required with cloud hosting either, making get up and go faster, an aspect that dedicated servers fall short. Every cloud hosting service is just another instance in a virtual environment making it instantaneous to host and go live with continuous updates.

With convenience comes inefficiencies, such as bandwidth limits, because operating off cloud based hosting assumes the bandwidth is substantial enough to accommodate high, so without enough comes performance issues. Cloud hosting also poses an issue with storage capacity. Because you do have to pay for what you use, it can oftentimes become expensive to expand on disk space.


A Dedicated Server

A dedicated server is the traditional method of buying or leasing server space. It’s the easiest protocol, yet one that requires the most effort to get setup. Depending on whether or not the server is rented or being built locally, depends on the work necessary to set it up. With personal setup, hardware and maintenance will become a factor that effects its reliability and redundancy, but this also comes with the ability to fully control it outweighing any extra effort required.

Dedicated servers bring benefit in the way of expandability as well, since extra storage is easily added, just not instantaneous like cloud-based hosting. With expandability in storage comes the additional performance from its locality, because direct access ensures maximum speed with minimum latency. Scaling is easily achievable because though it does cost more and consume time to configure the needed hardware, upgrades to hard drives, CPU, RAM and any other motherboard upgrades is direct. With cloud-based systems this is all handled offsite by the supplier and cannot be upgraded at any time.

Owning a dedicated server also grants transparency so you know exactly what is happening on your network; and, if troubleshooting is necessary, bringing ease in pinpointing bottlenecks and performance issues. Troubleshooting and diagnostics can be done in isolation rather than with the inconvenience of other users on the network adding possible factors to take into consideration.

Complexity, an issue for cloud hosting as it requires many aspects to ensure a smooth running set of servers for reliable performance. A dedicated server it is simpler as there is only one local instance running. So, in case of a reboot or maintenance, a dedicated server brings assurance that IP addresses and association will not become problematic during its brief downtime.

With cloud hosting, you pay for what you use, but with a dedicated server it’s cheaper to rent or purchasing the hardware over time. Renting is less annually, but even when purchasing the cost is kept down as there are less charges to keep it running.

If migration is needed on a dedicated server, it becomes doable rather than with its cloud-based counterpart that locks you into a platform. Migrating all of your files from a server offsite is costly as there is zero direct access, meaning you will have to pay to remove any data for transfer.

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